Fernando GomezMexico1940 Willys CoupeWhen Fernando Gomez bought his Willys as a less-than-perfect unfinished project, it had a poorly fitted front clip grafted to the original chassis, but its saving grace was its original steel body. The front of the chassis was swiftly replaced and the remainder boxed for strength, as Fernando intended to run a blown smallblock Chevy for motivation.
Fernando obviously works at a fast pace, as the project was completed within 18 months. He widened each rear fender by 2 inches to allow the fitment of wider tires without tubbing the body, and added Heidt's front suspension and a triangulated Art Morrison rear. Boyd billet wheels sit at each corner with Wilwood rotors behind each one-13-inchers up front with six-pot polished aluminum calipers, and 12-inchers in the rear with similar four-piston calipers. A Ron Francis wiring loom connects all the required electrics throughout the House of Kolor candy red coupe.
As mentioned, there's a blown Chevy under (well, almost!) the hood, displacing 388 ci and wearing Edelbrock Performer heads, and a pair of Edelbrock 650-cfm carbs atop the 6/71 Weiand blower. For those moments when too much horsepower is just enough, Fernando has the option of a 200hp nitrous shot. oh, and remote-operated exhaust cutouts for "impressing when needed," as he says. With two Best in shows and a First Place from the three shows the Willys has been entered in so far, we'd say it's a pretty popular car south of the border.
Butchie OlmsteadLompoc, California1949 MercuryBefore "old school" became the clich it is today, this four-door '49 Mercury was built the true old-school way, with a torch and lead, between 1959-62. Chopping one of these cars is no easy feat. This chop was made all the more difficult with the four-door factor thrown in, but the roof was sliced 4 inches under that '60s-era pearl and maroon paint job. Current-and only the third-owner, Butchie olmstead bought the Merc from a collector in Phoenix, where it had been in storage since 1985, hence the amazing condition of the paint and pinstriping. Likewise, the maroon and white crushed velour interior is in great condition.
While the body and paint hark back to sometime around the beginning of the '60s, the running gear must have been swapped out at a later date, comprising a Monte Carlo rearend, B&M auto trans, and Pontiac 400 with dual four-barrels. The only thing Butchie has done since acquiring the Merc, apart from christen her Li'l sugar, is add hand controls, required because he is a paraplegic, having been injured in Vietnam in 1967. Actually, the installation proved to be a major chore, getting the modern universal controls to mate up with a pre-'50s car. The fabrication eventually cost three times what the controls had cost!
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